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Mandala Source Book -150 Mandalas to Help You Find Peace, Awareness & Well-Being

Mandala Source Book -150 Mandalas to Help You Find Peace, Awareness & Well-Being
$31.00
Item Code: NAP941
Author: David Fontana & Lisa Tenzin-Dolma
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9781592336166
Pages: 464 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details: 7.50 X 5.00 inch
About the Book

A mandala is a symbolic spiritual image which, when reflected on, has the ability to bring about profound inner transformation. Their geometric designs have been used for centuries, particularly in the Eastern tradition, to achieve serenity and focus the mind, making them ideal tools for those interested in meditation.

Traditionally, the mandala's intricate religious symbolism can be very complex, but the 150 stunning mandalas offered here are designed to be accessible to both experienced meditators and beginners alike. To aid you during your meditation, a step-by-step guide accompanies each design, which explores the modern and relevant symbolism of the mandala, making even the more elaborate patterns straightforward to use and enjoy. An authoritative introduction examines the history of the mandala, helping you to uncover its symbolism and to prepare you for your spiritual journey. With a wealth of quotations throughout to offer inspiration, Mandala Sourcebook emphasizes the importance of making your own discoveries.

Although the mandala is typically Tibetan in origin, the mandalas in this book derive from a range of spiritual and cultural traditions. The dragon and the salmon, for example, are used to evoke the intricate beauty of Celtic design and mythology, while the use of the Minotaur taps into our fascination with ancient Greek mythology. Mandala Sourcebook celebrates the beauty and the mystery of nature in all of its guises—colors, geometric forms, and symbols—and is an inspirational and practical resource for everyone interested in growing in peace and awareness through meditation.

About the Author

The late Professor David Fontana was a fellow of the British Psychological Society, and his many books, which include The Meditator's Handbook, Learn to Meditate and The Secret Language of Dreams, have been translated into more than 25 languages.

Introduction

THE WORLD OF MANDALAS

Mandalas are probably as old as humankind itself. In rudimentary form they appear on walls and in caves in some of the earliest marks made by humans, and they are present again in some of the first scribbles of young children. They express through symbolism something innate in ourselves. Like all true symbols they arise from deep levels of the unconscious, and as such serve as keys which can take us into the mysterious recesses of our own minds.

THE ETERNAL CIRCLE

The most basic of all mandalas is the circle, an important and universal symbol to which the human psyche responds at the very deepest level. It is the still centre of the turning world, the magic enclosure that defines and protects a sacred space within which one finds tranquility and peace. It is the wheel of life, the symbol of ultimate perfection, the tunnel between this world and the world to come, the promise of eternity. Totality, perfection, unity, eternity the circle is a symbol of completeness that can include ideas of both permanence and dynamism. Apart from the point or centre with which it shares much of its symbolism, the circle is the only geometric shape without divisions and alike at all points. Because the circle, which can also represent a sphere, is a form potentially without beginning or end, it is the most resonant of all geometric symbols in the traditions of mystical thought.

THE MANDALA TRADITION

Not only is the circle the most basic of all mandalas, it is the form upon which all mandalas are based - the word "mandala" is in fact the Sanskrit word for" disk". Although the circle may contain other shapes within it, such as the square and the triangle, and sometimes may even be bounded on the outside by one or other of these shapes, the circle remains the primary feature of all mandalas. Without the circle, there is no mandala. But once the circle is drawn, then other symbols can be added to it. These more complex mandalas are major features of the sacred art of many spiritual traditions, particularly of Hinduism and Buddhism. At their most complete, these elaborate mandalas constitute symbolic pictures of the cosmos, replete either with the divine beings who represent or embody the cosmic forces behind existence, or with the geometrical shapes that signify these forces in more abstract form - the term "yantra" is sometimes used for these purely geometrical mandalas.

In the spiritual traditions, the mandala is frequently used as an aid to meditation. Because of its symbolic nature, the mandala when used in this way can help the mind not only to become focused and tranquil, but also to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the mediator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises.

MANDALAS WORLDWIDE

Although mandalas are particularly associated with the East, they have in fact been an important feature of Western traditions as well. In Christianity one of the best-known examples is the Celtic cross, in which the centre of the circle is also the centre of the cross, whose four arms then extend beyond the circumference to symbolize, among other things, the four dimensions, the human form, and the link between the heavens above and the Earth below (see page 44). In fact, the symbol probably predates Christianity. We sometimes see the cross contained fully within the circle, while at other times it is much smaller and takes the form of the rose, as in the "rosy cross" of the Rosicrucians (see page 108). There are also echoes of the mandala in the halo that surrounds the head of Christ and the saints in Christian art.

In Islam, which forbids the portrayal of Allah or of Muhammad, geometrical shapes dominate sacred art and architecture, and a segment of the circle, the crescent, together with the full circle in the form of a star, represent the divine. The inverted half circle, the dome, represents the arch of the heavens and, by forming the roof of the mosque, allows the whole building to become a three-dimensional mandala, helping to turn the minds of the faithful toward Allah.

In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, the three great traditions that originated in India, the mandala is an integral part of sacred art and a central feature of many meditational practices. The ground plan of the Hindu temple often takes the form of a mandala symbolizing the universe, with doors or gates at each of the cardinal points. Sometimes colours are associated with each of these points - yellow for north, red for east, black for south and white for west - while the centre, the point at which all four meet and from which all four arise, is green, the hue of creation. In the East the lotus is sacred not only because its flower transcends the darkness of the water and of the mud where it has its roots, but also because its symmetrical petals make a perfect mandala. In Buddhism the mandala is an essential feature of the Tibetan tradition, in some of its more elaborate forms representing a mystical journey that takes the mediator from ignorance to enlightenment.

In the West the circular maze, such as the one on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in northern France, is another representation of the symbolic journey from outer darkness to the sacred centre of the spirit, where the individual soul finds itself in the presence of the divine. Meditators in the West today tend to favour mandalas that are universal, rather than mythic, in their symbolism. Certain ingredients, such as the lotus and river, have a broad symbolic appeal; whereas the wrathful deities of the Tibetan mandala can be too esoteric for non- specialized use.










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